All roads lead to Chennai !
1. Hyderabad-Nalgonda-Piduguralla-Addanki (NAM Expressway)-Medarametla-Ongole-Nellore-Gudur-Chennai (NH5), shortest and best route. Not much traffic on NAM Expressway till Medarametla and then the route joins NH5.
2. Hyderabad-Nagarjuna Sagar-Macherla-Karampudi (SH19)-Addanki-Ongole-Nellore-Gudur-Chennai (NH5), decent route, take this route if you want to visit Nagarjuna Sagar.
3. Hyderabad-Vijayawada-Ongole-Nellore-Gudur-Chennai (NH5), longer by 100 kms and heavy traffic. Take this route only if you have some work at Vijayawada or would like to see the place.
Pit stops on Hyderabad-Chennai route
We usually take Route no.1, so here we go, a few snippets from our notes:
Narketpalli-Addanki-Medarametla, NAM Expressway, Telangana
– Starting from Hyderabad, there are good food joints near Narketpalli. Organic Village near Choutuppal is a must try.
– A new, posh N Grill resto has come up in recent times near Chityala. A great place if you want a break.
– Hotel Vivera near Narketpally is our regular stop, our trips on this route are incomplete without their chai ! Both these hotels are within 1 & 1/2 hour drive from Hyderabad. Food is good and clean washrooms. Narketpally has a few more good hotels in addition to the ones mentioned above.
– You wouldn’t find good food options near Nalgonda unless you pass through the city but then Narketpalli is only 17 kms before Nalgonda, so you can take a break there. Driving further to Miryalaguda and Damarcherla, a few new food joints have come up. They seem good enough for a quick break. There is a small eatery near Essar fuel station just after Miriyalguda, you can have some coffee and a few snacks. Their washrooms are clean.
NAM Expressway, Andhra Pradesh
– After you cross Miryalaguda region, you enter into Andhra Pradesh, the next big town is Piduguralla, 60kms/1 hour away. Right on the highway, there is a Prashanthi Dhaba, a colleague who hails from Piduguralla vouched for it as being quite popular in Piduguralla. They even have a play area for kids.
– A short distance from Prashanthi Dhaba is Sitara Hotel, the food is good and clean washrooms. Update May 2018 – A new hotel Vallela Residency has come up at Piduguralla after Sitara Hotel, you could check this one out also. Decent food and clean washrooms.
– Addanki is next, though an important, historical town, there are a few not so great hotels here, unless you are badly in need of a break, you could proceed further to Medarametla.
– Just where NAM Expressway merges with NH5, there is a coffee shop, Rush Cafe. They have coffee and other beverages but nothing to munch. Washrooms are decent. We usually take a break at Narketpally and don’t stop till Addanki or Medarametla.
– If Medarametla doesn’t work out, you could head further to Ongole, 5 kms before you arrive at Ongole, there is a Hi5 restaurant right on the highway. It is a good place for a quick bite or tea, the washrooms are sort of ok. This restaurant has lost its sheen in recent times and we no longer stop here.
– Whether you stop at Ongole or not, you should take a break at Tanguturu Toll Plaza, 16kms from Ongole. A brand new Food Plaza has come up on the first floor of the toll plaza. The washrooms are clean, good food options and above all, a great view of the highway. We need more such pit stops on our highways.
– Just after Kavali, there is Blue Moon Dhaba, another decent place for lunch/dinner, washrooms are clean too.
– Close to Rajupalem, 51kms from Kavali, you will find R.K.Family restaurant, one of those small roadside hotels but the food is good. We are not sure about washrooms.
– 20kms later, we will proudly welcome you to Nellore ! After you leave Hyderabad, Nellore is the next biggest city on this route but NH5 bypasses Nellore city. If you want to stop at Nellore you will have to deviate into the city from the highway.
– 22 kms from Nellore after you cross Venkatachalam, there is Palle Ruchulu, serving authentic Nellore food. Try their Vada, we loved it because it was as close as the Vadas that are made at a regular Nellore household. If you go before 8 AM, they may not have items like Pongal, Vada, they are available after 8.30 AM !
– After you drive out of Nellore, on the Nellore-Gudur stretch, there is a 24 hour Cafe Coffee Day outlet on the highway.
– Close to Gudur, you will find the swanky Amaravathi Highway Restaurant, this is the best, state of art restaurant on this route. If you are travelling to Chennai from Hyderabad, don’t miss this place !
– After you cross Gudur, the 70 odd kms from Gudur to Sri City doesn’t seem to have too many options but the road is so good, you can cover the 70 kms in about 45 minutes. The presence of the massive metropolis of Chennai becomes evident after Sri City, there are restaurants, Cafe Coffee Day and other coffee outlets at regular intervals starting from Tada all the way to Chennai outskirts.
On this route, Hyderabad to Chennai takes about 11 hours including breaks. Doable in a single day because the roads are very good but if you want to split the drive stopping for the night, you could consider Ongole, the half way point. You may not find grand hotels but decent ones for a quick transit. Stopping at Nellore doesn’t make sense because from Nellore-Chennai is only a 3 hour drive, so you might as well drive to Chennai. The other option would be taking the Vijayawada route and staying in Vijayawada.
Happy travelling !